Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 2, 2013

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Lead Feature Disruption the advantage Business Unusual N ew technologies are disrupting the way both IT and the business are managed. And they're doing so at a pace that's nothing short of dizzying. "I've been in the IT industry 25 years, so I've seen cycles of disruption before," says Marina Levinson, former CIO of NetApp and now CEO of the CIO Advisory Group, a Silicon Valley-based executive technology advisory firm. "But what's different here is the speed of adoption — how quickly [new technologies] have gone mainstream." The key disruptive trends are cloud computing, mobile technology and the DevOps movement, which aims to boost collaboration between IT developers and operations. And while most CIOs are old hands at incorporating new technologies into their enterprise architectures, what's throwing them this time is the superfast pace at which these technologies are being adopted. 12 In the past, IT-powered disruptions of whole industries took months, even years. For example, Apple dramatically disrupted the entire music industry when it introduced the iTunes Store in early 2001. Yet it wasn't until 2006, five years later, that the impact of that disruption was fully felt; that year, the biggest U.S. music retailer, Tower Records, filed for bankruptcy. Those relatively leisurely days are over. "Today, disruptive technologies like cloud and mobile allow you to become a player literally overnight," says John Michelsen, CTO at CA Technologies. And as Forrester analyst James McQuivey writes in his book, Digital Disruption (Amazon Publishing, 2013), this period is spawning "at least 10 times as many innovators [as might exist otherwise] to rush into your market while operating at one-tenth the cost that you do." What's more, the same disruptive technologies that offer business benefits of agility, flexibility and lowered costs are also rapidly being deployed photography: Darren Carroll New technologies are overturning decades of IT best practices. Smart CIOs are not only coping with the changes, but transforming them for competitive advantage. | By Larry Lange

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